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|September 14, 2009: Hurricane Research Funding is Imperative|
We are in the peak of hurricane season, and I am reminded of the aftermath and devastation that our costal communities have suffered from the works of hurricanes Andrew, Ivan, Jeanne, and Katrina. People were unprepared and caught off-guard, because of these unfortunate circumstances. I believe it is about time that Congress pass legislation in support of hurricane research. Protecting our environment is crucial to the health of all Americans, and advancements in hurricane research will help lead the way.
H.R. 327, the National Hurricane Research Initiative Act of 2009, is a bill that I reintroduced this Congress with my colleague Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). This bill authorizes $2.35 billion in critical hurricane research funding to help scientists study and better understand how hurricanes form and intensify, as well as enhance early warning systems, infrastructure durability standards, and hurricane tracking and prediction capabilities.
Floridians are acutely aware of the fact that it just takes one hurricane to wipe out a state, and therefore the protection of our coastal communities is crucial. Between 2002 and 2007, the US experienced over $180 billion in losses due to hurricanes. In my opinion, this issue has been overlooked for far too long.
The current Federal investment in hurricane research is a drop in the bucket compared to our nation's increasing vulnerability.
I remain committed to ensuring that Florida and the nation are better prepared to respond and mitigate the devastating impacts of hurricanes. I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.